Starting competitive tennis in the US

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Eph, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    I've decided to do this ASAP. I'm ranked 3.5 and really enjoy the game. Would like to play competitive tennis now. One caveat: I just had ACL and MCL surgery on Tuesday so it will be 6-9 months before I can play tennis again.

    When does the tennis season start?
    What are the rules for entering a tournament?
    How are tournaments run?
    What happens if you win?
    When do you get a WTA (ATP?), USTA ranking?
    What's the average amount of tennis tournaments you compete in each year?
    Are they generally on weekends?
    What's the average price of a tournament?
    Can you play singles as well as doubles? Are the rankings separate?


    NB I'm in my 20s and can get more specific if that matters for age groups. So above juniors and below 35 and up.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
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  2. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Let me get this - you are in your 20's, a 3.5, and just had ACL/MCL surgery and want to play pro level events as soon as possible????? LOL!!!! That's a good one.
     
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  3. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    Whatever tennis association lets you play tournaments - obviously I won't be in the top 5'000, sooner rather than later.

    This is ACL no 4 for me, so nothing new.

    Thanks for the valuable input.
     
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  4. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Glad to be of service.
     
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  5. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    Sorry to hear about the ACL surgery. Hope you're up and running soon.

    Here's my answers - I live in norcal, so it might be different elsewhere. Check out norcal.usta.com and then check the menu under tournaments - you'll find a lot of info about your questions there.

    When does the tennis season start?
    It runs year 'round, but there the number of tournaments drops in the winter shomewhat

    What are the rules for entering a tournament?
    You have to self-rate if you haven't yet. You can play above your ntrp, but not below.

    How are tournaments run?
    There's a tournament director. You sign up and get a draw, and by and large, matches are self-officiated unless there's a big enough dispute to call over a line judge or tournament official.

    What happens if you win?
    Everybody hates you. Just kidding. You may get a little prize (like a bottle of wine or a gift certificate), but that's about it. (Edit: in the opens, there is occasionally prize money that can in rare cases get into the thousands, but you have to be nutty good to even survive the first round in those tournaments).

    When do you get a WTA (ATP?), USTA ranking?
    Right away for your self rating, but you get a computer ranking based on your league and tournament results after you've played for a while (btw, WTA and ATP ratings are for pros, which is probably why another poster thought you were talking about playing professional level - I'm guessing based on your post that you meant NTRP, which is for competitive but ultimately recreational players).

    What's the average amount of tennis tournaments you compete in each year?
    Personally, I'd be happy to get in a half dozen a year, but I'm pretty busy with job and family.

    Are they generally on weekends?
    Yep, though sometimes if the draw is deep they schedule matches on Fridays.

    What's the average price of a tournament?
    In norcal, maybe $30-$50.

    Can you play singles as well as doubles? Are the rankings separate?
    Yes, you can play both, though you usually have to pay separately for each draw you enter. Rankings are not separate. This irritates some people, since you can be good in one and get smoked in the other, so a lot of folks think there should be separate singles and doubles rankings...


    One last bit of advice... really think carefully about your self rating. I've found that there's a huge difference between the sort of player who says "I'm pretty much a 3.5" and a tournament tested player who is a computer rated 3.5 with some wins under his/her belt.

    I can't automatically say "subtract .5 at least from your self rating" because some people do genuinely self rate properly. But definitely use caution here.

    Hope you're out there sooner rather than later, good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
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  6. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    Thanks for the detailed response.

    So who do I register with? The USTA? That's the governing body that gives the NRTP rankings?

    Why would they let you play above but not below? How do you move ahead in your USTA rankings?

    I was given the ranking by a pro, not by myself. I would say rankings are a misnomer, it depends on your opponent and how quickly you can find his weaknesses and you hope his weaknesses align with your power.


    Thanks!
     
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  7. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    You definitely should take a look at the usta website (or just look at the norcal one I posted earlier). You'll get a ton of info about what ratings mean...

    Ratings are used for general categories of play to keep the matches competitive. They're not really fine grained like you described... here's an overview.

    http://www.usta.com/?sc_itemid={A9EAE203-D273-4CB1-9038-5A293C5ED642}

    Once you've self rated before your first tourament, your ranking can move up or down based on your performance in the matches. For instance, if you're a 3.5 but you start beating top 3.5 players by blowout scores, you may get bumped up to 4.0. Whereas if you get beat 6-0, 6-0 by weak 3.5 players, you may get bumped down to 3.0 (to allow you to compete at a more appropriate level).

    You can play "up" because you're allowed to sign yourself up for a beating in a higher level league if you're so inclined. You can't play down, though, because you'd be considered too advanced for the league.
     
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  8. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    What I didn't understand was whether USTA created the NRTP rankings or not. I'm familiar with the system, though.

    I will read more on the USTA site, and hopefully start playing soon.

    Who moves you up or down? Yourself or the official? The official is some type of pro, right?
     
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  9. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    You are moved up and down based on a computer algorithm
     
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  10. Crusher10s

    Crusher10s Rookie

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    Double post.....sorry.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
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  11. Crusher10s

    Crusher10s Rookie

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    10 characters
     
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  12. Crusher10s

    Crusher10s Rookie

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    It's ratings not rankings....you are rated a 3.5 level player....you have no state or national ranking yet.
     
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